Abbasuddin Ahmed’s birth anniversary Thursday

Cultural Correspondent | Published at 04:52pm on October 26, 2016

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Abbasuddin Ahmed

Legendary singer Abbasuddin Ahmed’s 115th birth anniversary will be celebrated today.

Marking the day, Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parishad will dedicate the opening day of its three-day Nazrul Mela, scheduled to begin today at Bangla Academy, to the memory of Abbasuddin Ahmed, who recorded some of the widely popular songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam.

A CD titled ‘Bhulite Parine Tai’, featuring 70 Nazrul Sangeets rendered by Abbasuddin Ahmed, will also be launched at the programme.

Moreover, several TV channels will air special programmes in memory of Abbasuddin Ahmed, who is credited with popularising Bhawaiya, a popular genre of music from Rangpur.

For his seminal contributions to music, he received many prestigious awards including the Pride of Performance in 1960, Shilpakala Academy Award in 1979, and Independence Day Award in 1981.

Born in October 1901 in the Tufanganj subdivision of Cooch Behar district, now in India, Abbasuddin was mostly a self-taught composer and singer. However, for a brief period of time, he learnt music from Ustad Jamiruddin Khan in Kolkata.

Besides Bhawaiya, Abbasuddin also presented other folk songs like jaari, sari, bhatiyali, murshidi, bichchhedi, marsiya, dehatattwa, and pala gaan. Besides Nazrul, he also composed songs written by the likes of Jasimuddin and Golam Mostafa.

Abbasuddin was the first singer to lend his voice for Kazi Nazrul Islam’s song O Mor Ramjaner O Rojar Sheshe, which went on to become an important part of Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations for the Muslims in Bangladesh.

He recorded over 100 songs of Nazrul, including the popular romantic number Laili Tomar Eshechhey Phiriya.

Aside from his musical career, Abbasuddin served as an official of the Department of Information and Broadcasting. He participated in many international seminars and conferences on music in counties such as the Philippines, Germany and Myanmar.

Abbasuddin Ahmed died in December, 1959; however, his legacy lives on as his daughter, Ferdausi Rahman, his youngest son, Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, and his granddaughter, Nashid Kamal, are also notable singers.